Wingzofsteel Adventures and Reviews

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Posts Tagged ‘Florida Backroads

Washington Oaks; In Search for Timucua

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Last June I took a trip to Cresant Beach, Fl. While traveling south on A1A I came upon an area that spoke to my curiosity. A little garden maintained by the State of Florida called Washington Oaks. How odd and seemingly misplaced was this strip of land between the Atlantic and the inter-coastal waterway approximately 3 miles south of Marineland.

 

After entering the obscure entrance and a small parking fee later ($4.00) I was standing in the midst of an enchanted forest wondering if I had somehow gone back in time to when the Timucuans inhabited these lands.

 

As I meandered through paths and natural trails of garden, Palm and Palmetto, I was occasionally surprised by local wildlife in their natural habitat doing the things they do in the privacy of their beautiful surroundings. I am unclear of the species of predatory birds of that area of Florida, but either an Eagle or Owl was not overly happy of my presence. It swooshed past me and quickly disappeared into the thick and abundant boughs of stately oaks trees and Spanish moss. Although I travel as stealthily as possible, trying not to disrupt and place undue stress on the wild creatures, just perhaps I err on the side of being too quiet. The ones not so bothered by my curiosity were the Tortoise and Armadillo. They were scurrying about going from one place to another and would look up once in awhile then carry on.

 

The park is meticulously maintained and cared for with what can be only described as passion. In speaking with a Park employee, it became evident that they share a true love for their work at Washington Oaks. I found it both honorable and refreshing.

Throughout the gardens you find plants indigenous to the State of Florida. To take all the guess work away, the Park has provided each species of plant with signage identifying them by their scientific name as well as their more common name.

 

One the east side of AIA, Washington Oaks extends to the Atlantic Ocean. The curvy road to the boardwalk is cascaded on each side with sand dunes and protected grasses and vegetation; a safe house for wild life.  Standing on the board walk overlooks a vast open area protected in perpetuity from development. I might mention here that the entrance fee for the garden side of the road also covers the beach area. Just be sure to have the receipt on your dashboard.

 

The boardwalk extends out to the beach and is a nice private area to sunbath or swim in the beautiful waters of the Atlantic. For the swimmers a word of caution; the Cochina rock is ever present so one must be careful when swimming at high tide or risk injury from the hidden rock formations. Fishermen may also wish to scout out the area at low tide or risk parting with expensive lures.

As I wander around places like Washington Oaks, tripod and camera in tow, I imagine each scene the way I would like for it to be shared with you. Sometimes I get lucky and other times not so much. However, the balance of light and shadow with subtle details of the natural world illustrated in only black white and grays is what I strive to show. As I develop new ideas and techniques, just maybe my vision will begin to reflect in how you see the world as well. Hopefully you will see through my lens how much beauty is all around us only if we take the time to explore it.

As for Washington Oaks, what a treasure found with one of Florida’s best kept secrets. I will be coming back again to pick up where I left off. Oh, there is so much more to explore.

Written by wingzofsteel

August 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm